The Panama Canal Transit

January 10

The Panama Canal opened for business on August 15, 1914. It was the technological marvel of its time and is still pretty impressive. The canal provides a short-cut from the Atlantic Ocean, via the Caribbean Sea, to the Pacific Ocean, avoiding the much longer trip around South America. The canal consists of three sets of locks on the Caribbean side and three sets of locks on the Pacific side with two artificial fresh water lakes in the middle.

The Panama Canal is a double set of canals, see the images below. Because we did not debark the ship, I photographed a different cruise ship, the Celebrity Century, which was in the right lane ahead of our ship. Our ship took the left lane.

Canal We approached the first lock on the left side.
Canal Several vehicles, called “mules”, pulled our ship through the canal.
Canal The Celebrity Century entered the first lock on the right side. She did not have much clearance on either side.
Canal Once the ship cleared the gate, a bridge unfolded to allow vehicle traffic to cross the canal.
Canal This Brown Pelican was watching for fish stirred up by the passing ship.
Canal The Celebrity Century cleared the third lock and entered Gatun Lake.
Canal Behind our ship was another cruise ship and a cargo ship. Notice how low the cruise ship behind us is.
Canal Ships at anchor on Gatun Lake
Canal A fireboat tested its equipment as our ship entered a lock on the Pacific side.